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Your Covid-19 questions answered

Can high blood pressure increase risk of severe Covid-19?

26 July 2022 - 07:00
Those with high blood pressure are at greater risk of severe Covid-19.
Those with high blood pressure are at greater risk of severe Covid-19.
Image: 123RF.COM

High blood pressure can more than double your chance of being hospitalised with severe Covid-19, a study has found.

The research, published recently in the medical journal Hypertension, found even those who had been fully vaccinated and received a booster shot could still experience serious infection.

“Overall, we identified a total of 912 individuals who received ≥3 mRNA vaccine doses and were subsequently diagnosed with Covid-19 during the Omicron surge, of whom 145 (15.9%) required hospitalisation.

“In multivariable analyses, factors significantly associated with risk of hospitalisation for Omicron infection included older age, hypertension, chronic kidney disease and prior myocardial infarction, as well as longer duration between the last vaccination and infection.”

It said the presence of hypertension was associated with the greatest magnitude of risk.

“The Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 has led to overall less severe Covid-19 illness in most affected individuals when compared with prior variants — with morbidity and mortality even further reduced by receiving three doses of vaccine. Our findings were consistent with prior studies demonstrating greater hospitalisation risk with advanced age and time since the last vaccine dose.

“Even when controlling for these and other clinical variables, the risk of hospitalisation related to breakthrough Omicron infection was more than doubled by the presence of hypertension.

“Our results indicate persistence and even accentuation of hypertension-related risk in the setting of a more transmissible albeit generally less virulent strain of SARS-CoV-2 and in the era of multi-dose vaccination,” it added.

The National Institute For Communicable Diseases (NICD) said those with high blood pressure are at a greater risk of severe illness and mortality associated with Covid-19. 

It called for those who suffer from the condition to consult a healthcare professional when treating and vaccinating against Covid-19.

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